Travis Brown hopes to use his perspective and views as a younger person to help unify and support growth in the city of Rexburg as the next mayor.
Brown is a building supervisor in Facilities Management at BYU-Idaho and manages the Rexburg Farmer’s Market with his wife. He’s 30 years old and has lived in Rexburg for the past 8 years.
He’s a non-traditional student at BYU-Idaho and has nearly completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Manufacturing Engineering.
Brown said he came to Rexburg as a student but has made it his permanent residence after he and his family have fallen in love with the community.
Working with the farmer’s market in Rexburg has helped him grow an appreciation and fondness for the local community.
“We’ve loved it—being involved with the people who come as vendors, encouraging both community and college students to come and participate in the market,” he said of the farmer’s market.
Brown said that experience has taught him about what it takes to help people from a variety of backgrounds come together. He hopes that understanding can help him move forward to work unifying the community as mayor.
As a non-traditional student at BYU-Idaho he clarified that he doesn’t consider himself a student first. He works as a full-time employee of the university and takes advantage of the opportunity to take classes on the side.
He did say he agrees with the concern of some citizens that there is a disconnect or separation between the student body at BYU-Idaho and the community as a whole.
Brown feels both his perspective as former full-time student and experience working in the farmer’s market would help him to bridge that divide.
When asked what the most important issue facing Rexburg is right now, Brown first responded that “a lot of the people of Rexburg don’t feel like they’re heard…whether the city is hearing them or not, that’s how they feel and that needs to be addressed.”
He praised the city for the many projects they have accomplished and are currently working on. Brown said he would like to help community members—through increased transparency—understand more fully that their voice has been and will continue influencing decisions.
“City hall is all about working for the community, doing the work for the people,” he said. “I feel there’s a need for the people to recognize that that’s what is happening.”
Brown said he believes that road maintenance is a major issue the city also needs to be continually dealing with. He wants to move forward with the work the city has already done on roads and add to it.
Brown also addressed the issue of parking in the downtown area, saying he would support building a parking garage if it balanced the demands of both growth and historical integrity of the older parts of the city.
The candidate takes a similar approach to addressing issues related to Rexburg’s growing population. Brown said he’d like the city to find a balance between demands for an expanding city and preserving the area’s small-town feel.
He said he’s seen how effective the city has been at supporting business growth in the downtown area and would like to expand that to other parts of town, including spaces that are currently vacant.
Brown said, overall, he’s running for mayor because he wants to overcome the apathy that so often surrounds local government across the country.
“I believe in the people of Rexburg,” he said. “I feel like the people should be more involved in what’s going on. I want to make it easier for them to be involved.”